To the editors [of the Lafayette Journal & Courier] in regard to your unsigned opinion piece entitled "Keep gun permit records open to public":
"The Indianapolis paper wrote about permits that were granted despite recommendations from local police chiefs that the permits be rejected, according to the HSPA."
If you had bothered to do any research about handgun carry permitting in Indiana, you would know that the recommendation of the local police chief is essentially irrelevant. The state police are required to issue a permit to a person who has no violent criminal record and has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent. There is no discretion whatever, regardless of the recommendation of the local police. This is a good thing. I imagine that the chiefs of police of certain cities, Gary for instance, would and do recommend against issuance as a matter of course, regardless of the nature or character of the applicant.
Quoting the majority in Schubert v. DeBard, 398 N.E.2d 1339 (Ind. App. 1980):
"We think it clear that our constitution provides our citizenry
the right to bear arms for their self-defense. Furthermore, in
Matthews v. State, supra, our Supreme Court held that if it is
determined under IC 35-23-4.1-5 that the applicant has met the
conditions of the statute, the superintendent has no discretion to
withhold the license. 148 N.E.2d 337."
If an applicant is wrongly denied, he has the courts on his side, and indeed could probably pursue a Federal civil rights case for deprivation of rights under color of authority.
And if a permit is mistakenly issued to a prohibited person? As a prohibited person, he's already in violation of federal law for possessing a weapon. It is, as you would know if you bothered to do your job, a federal offense for a prohibited person to even touch a single round of ammunition, let alone a firearm. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/922
What is the point of publishing databases of people who have no criminal record, and are provably far less likely to commit crime, if not to ostracize and harass them? Why treat them like child molesters? The Star and Herald-Times manner of publishing the database belie any other explanation.